Oct 04, 2011 Peeping Tom
This week the world could not be bothered by the large crowds that attended the first major rally of the ruling, People’s Progressive Party, or for that matter the fortunes of any of the other local political parties or coalitions, be it APNU or the Alliance for Change.
This week all the media attention is going to be in the courtrooms, in Italy where an appeals court overturned the conviction of Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffael Sollecito.
The world waited anxiously for yesterday’s verdict which brought freedom to the American woman and her ex-boyfriend, for the murder of a 21-year-old British girl.
The accused spent four years in prison in a case that riveted world public attention and which is likely to be the talking point on all the major news networks over the next few days. When Amanda returns home to the United States, she is expected also to be greeted with intense media attention.
The second major trial in the courts that has galvanized international public attention is the case against the doctor accused of involuntary manslaughter of the superstar, Michael Jackson.
The evidence led so far has painted a grim picture of the life of Michael Jackson and his inability to sleep without medication. Fame and popularity has its price and Michael Jackson sure paid a high price for his popularity. He was often hounded by the media and lived as a recluse trying to avoid the public spotlight.
The news networks will over the next few days be dominated by commentary and discussion about these two trials but especially by the verdict in the Amanda Knox trial. She is expected to have been flown out of Italy today, hopefully to arrive in the United States by tonight.
She spent four years in prison. Today she is a free woman but while she is free of the crime that she was accused of committing, she will not be free from the public limelight. In fact, she now faces a different kind of incarceration. She will be hounded by the media and will have the time of her life trying to enjoy some privacy.
Hopefully those who stood by her side over the past four years will be there for her. But it is obvious that her life will never be the same again, as will be Dr. Conrad Murray, regardless of the verdict that emerges at the end of his trial. He would have already endured a great deal and these are difficult days for him.
Justice delayed they say is justice denied. In both the Amanda Knox trial and the case of Dr. Conrad Murray, it cannot be said that justice was delayed. But it took considerable time before both persons were brought to trial and in the case of Knox, she had to wait more than four years for her freedom.
So while justice was not delayed, it was also not swift because she had to wait so many years for all the appeal procedures in her matter to be heard.
Justice in the end was served but life has changed for all involved. Life goes on. Others will be accused in the future. Others will be freed on appeal. The world turns. But life never remains the same.
There are many persons who are going to be disappointed with the verdict in her trial. The reaction outside of the courtroom indicated that there was some amount of displeasure. There will be persons who will also argue that justice was not served in his case.
The family of the murdered girl will most probably feel that closure has not been achieved because of the verdict, but in the final analysis trials are not about who did what or who did not do what.
They are always about whether there is a sufficient and compelling evidence to sustain the charges that were made against the accused. In the case of Amanda Knox and her boyfriend it was originally found by one court that there was such sufficiency and both were sentenced to long terms on prison, sentences which were reduced by an initial appeal process.
The Italian legal system allows another tier of appeals and it was at this higher level that the conviction of Knox and her boyfriend were set aside.
But freedom is not victory. As one of Amanda Knox’s lawyers, said that there is no winner in this process. A young woman has died and that fact must never be forgotten, but as he also argued, the higher court has corrected a mistake.
The entire process of indictment to conviction to appeal to another appeal took four years, a time that would have altered the lives of Knox and those close to her.
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